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The word "euthanasia" comes straight out of the Greek -- "eu", goodly or well + "thanatos",death = the good death -- and for 18th-century writers in England that was what euthanasiameant, a "good" death, a welcome way to depart quietly and well from life.The most commonly understood meaning of euthanasia today is more than the old dictionarydefinition of dying well -- a good and easy death. It refers, for example, to the situation whena doctor induces the death with a lethal injection, of a patient who is suffering unrelievableand has persistently requested the doctor to do so.
Classification of Euthanasia
Euthanasia by consent:Euthanasia may be conducted with consent (voluntary euthanasia) or without consent(involuntary euthanasia). Involuntary euthanasia is conducted where an individual makes adecision for another person incapable of doing so.
Euthanasia by means:Euthanasia may be conducted passively, non-actively, and actively. Passive euthanasia entailsthe withholding of common treatments (such as antibiotics, chemotherapy in cancer, or surgery) or the distribution of a medication (such as morphine) to relieve pain, knowing thatit may also result in death (principle of double effect). Passive euthanasia is the mostaccepted form, and it is a common practice in most hospitals. Non-active euthanasia entailsthe withdrawing of life support and is more controversial. Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces to kill and is the most controversial means. An individual may usea euthanasia machine to perform euthanasia on himself / herself.
Assisted suicide:Assisted suicide is a form of euthanasia where the patient actively takes the last step in their death. The term "assisted suicide" is contrasted with "active euthanasia" when the difference between providing the means and actively administering lethal medicine is consideredimportant. For example, Swiss law on assisted suicide allows assisted suicide, while allforms of active euthanasia (like lethal injection) remain prohibited.
Animal EuthanasiaAnimal euthanasia is an attempt to kill an animal without pain or distress in cases such asinoperable disease and injury. Techniques to accomplish this include the delivery of fatal